Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) says there’s enough evidence to refer Donald Trump for an indictment.
“I think the evidence is there to make a referral and we just have to decide whether that’s the course we are going to take,” The January 6th Select Committee member told ABC This Week’s host, Jonathan Karl on Sunday.
The investigative panel is reportedly discussing ways to hold the ex-President accountable for refusing to cooperate with the House Select Committee’s subpoena.
“Donald Trump took the cowardly way out,” Schiff said. “Unline other presidents that have fulfilled their duty even after office and testified before Congress, very not surprising with the former president.”
Watch the video below.
“But I can say that I think Judge Carter in California who analyzed just one small piece of this concluded that the former president and others were engaged or there was evidence they were engaged in a criminal conspiracy,” he continued.
Congressman Schiff was referring to federal Judge David Carter, who earlier this year determined that ex-President Trump engaged in a conspiracy with his former attorney John Eastman to illegally overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“The illegality of the plan was obvious,” Carter said of the scheme.
One of Trump’s most vocal critics, Rep. Schiff also expressed his disappointment with former Vice President Mike Pence, who recently criticized the committee’s handling of the investigation into the Capitol attack.
“It was disappointing with the former vice president who, like others before him, sadly, said I can’t share this information with the American people and Congress, but I could write a book about it,” Schiff added. “That’s very disappointing.”
With the midterm election returning the House majority to the GOP, the clock is ticking as Republicans have vowed to dismantle the committee and stop the investigation. Schiff’s assertion comes after Attorney General Merrick Garland recently announced the appointment of veteran international crimes prosecutor John L. Smith as special counsel in the Department of Justice’s criminal probe.
“I think the person he’s chosen seems to be capable and qualified,” Schiff told Karl.
Some have criticized what has been perceived as a lack of urgency at the Justice Department. The select committee echoed that, telling the host:
“They were very slow at the Department to work up the multiple lines of effort to overturn the election,” the congressman said. “It took them a long time to get started. The delay has already been baked in.”
“I hope that the special prosecutor will move with alacrity and fulfill the commitment Merrick Garland made at the outset.”
Schiff denounced assertions by the previous administration’s Justice Department that a sitting President couldn’t be indicted – even while Trump is now claiming a presidential candidate also can’t be indicted if deciding to run again for office.
This begs the question of accountability and when it should be sought.
The Democratic congressman also condemned Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s recent announcement to let the twice impeached former President back on the platform – calling it a “terrible mistake.”
“As we showed in the January 6th hearings, the president used that platform to incite that attack on the Capitol, his comments about the vice president, his own vice president, put Mike Pence’s life in danger,” Schiff told Karl.
Trump’s lack of remorse, continued spreading of the big lie, and non-stop disregard and disrespect for the country’s democratic process have created a harmful partisan divide within the country as the ex-president continues to push the boundaries of our nation’s legal and judicial systems of accountability.
You can watch the interview below.
Original reporting by Olafinihan Oshin at The Hill.
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